Another Hypothesis: There were basically Four Types of USA Computer Monitor / Electronics Recycling in the decade past:
California was an example of Good Idiots. There was little incentive to export good monitors to good companies when California taxpayers were shellling out 48 cents per pound to break them into pieces to put on the ground.
The Taiwanese were the earliest investors in Guangdong. They have been enormously helpful in Mexico, South America, and Africa. I keep running into Taipei Geeks all over the world, and they deserve a huge shout out. Anyone who says "manufacturer takeback" and describes Taiwan as Guiyu is a certified laughingstock.
- Honest companies with under 5% reuse. They don't do the homework on the testing and reuse market, they shred everything ("good idiots")
- Companies that ship for refurb off-site, like mine, which achieve 25% reuse and are proud of it. (honest and good)
- Companies that ship for refurb off-site, like mine, which achieve 25% reuse, and claim testing and everything is done in the USA ("good liars")
- Companies that ship enough good stuff that the export market forgives the crap, allowing them to ship 65% overseas... (bad exporters)
|Inventor of Chinese character display from CRT|
There were companies I know of that were maximizing "TAR" or Toxics Along for the Ride. They were willing to earn less for the good monitors in return for forcing along TVs and bad monitors. I knew about them from the Taiwanese buyers. Some of the worst exporters were - get this - Pledge of True Stewardship Signers!
The majority of e-waste recyclers in the past decade - About 50% of companies - were doing what I was doing (#2 and #3)... The number who were transparent and proud began shrinking under BAN's scorched earth campaign vs. reuse. And the buyers, who I visited and met with, were teaching me just about everything I know about display reuse and recycling. I go to Africa as the "American expert" and talk about things I learned in China.
Taiwanese geeks, and Digitimes, has been about the most truthful set of people I've met it this whole decade. They are smart people, and they are in total control of the smart phone business because they are the experts in displays, and the smart phones are about touch screen displays... which is how Taiwan beat Finland's RIM (maker of Blackberry) into the ground. The are the pros at displays.
Taiwan basically repeated the history of Japanese radio, tinkering with displays. The Chinese Communist Party had an Ahab complex over the success of Taiwan in the 1990s, and madly subsidized CRT virgin production (madly). The Taiwanese moved into refurbishing the older CRTs and invested in - everything else. LCD, Plasma, LED, touch screens... Like some kind of urban ninja, Taiwan worked smart, and got into smart phones.
The Taiwanese engineers are becoming more and more important to the development of Mainland China... forging an economic peace in the Pacific. The "One China" policy will be built on "One China's Joint Bank Account". Both sides get richer by working together.
And I resold thousands of refurbished displays from this factory to Egypt over the past decade. Ha ha ha. Egypt is in Africa.
The smart companies will win. We may not win in the USA, but I'll move and invest in another country. With partners like these, who needs Americans. My advantage is the melting pot of tolerance my country made me. I love America because it makes for intelligent, cooperative, multi-cultural free and fair trade. If the USA wants to begin experimenting with boycotts of Geeks of Color, you lose me.